Prathloons Album Release ShowDec 04, 2018
A cold Minnesota Monday night was not enough to keep a warm crowd from descending on the 7th Street Entry to support some excellent local music. A diverse line-up of artists which culminated in a raucous and personal performance from Prathloons began with experimental artist Iceblink. The music, which featured melodic and hypnotic electronics, bells, and guitar picking inspired by music from all over the world, highlighted by seamless transitions between self-described Italian film score and Far-East sounds. The grounded feeling of the music, combined with the stasis of the stage performance, inspired a calm, centered feeling in myself and the rest of the crowd.
While the music of Iceblink was an escape from the bitter cold outside, Half Tramp’s music embodies it. Taylor Brea Harrison’s haunting and distant vocals create an uneasy feeling in the back of your neck, but coming from the Minneapolis Witch you would expect nothing less. Her introspective lyrics coupled with the undeniably beautiful shriek of her powerful voice cuts through the outer layers of your protective shell and drops emotional truth bombs into the pit of your stomach.
Next up was Oyster World, and by-golly-gee they absolutely exploded on stage. Oyster World, which consists of Theo Pupillo, Matthew Graves, Stephanie Jo Murck, and Willem Vander Ark delivered a rambunctious performance on Monday. The band loves to play loud and they know how to do it well. The bass, oh the bass… it blew me away. Despite some brief guitar trouble, front-woman Stephanie’s ability to deliver some killer riffs and scream her heart out was infectious. When she set the guitar down and grabbed the mic with both hands, her energy as she stomped around on stage was palpable. However, the highlight of the performance for me was the twangy-guitar-toting, gyrating cowboy.
We made it. Prathloons. The self-titled album just dropped, and thank gosh I was able to pick up a copy (on a blue cassette tape!) after the show. While frontman Collin writes the songs for Prathloons, it was easy to tell that the songs have a deep and personal meaning to all of the members of the band. The trio of guitarists, Collin, Jo Kellen, and John O’Brien showcased their chemistry and emotion on stage. Jo was absolutely mad, losing themself in the music and letting the emotion take control of their body. After a few songs with the entire band, Collin and John were on the stage alone together. Collin took some time to talk about his journey as an artist, and how much John has helped him as a friend and collaborator since he moved to Minneapolis; it was a truly tender moment between two boys. Collin also thanked his parents for being in the crowd tonight, and they were all smiles as the crowd gave them a round of applause. After playing some older, more tender cuts, the rest of the band came out and the jam was back on. Throughout the performance Collin showcased an awkward but delightful and humorous on stage persona, and his humility endeared him to the audience. It would be a disservice to Prathloons to not praise them as a unit, though, and what a unit they are. There is something to be said about a band whose members all love each other and the songs they are playing. Set closer and album highlight “Mallwood” was the perfect capstone to the night. The song builds and builds and builds, and as Collin thrashes around on stage with his guitar, John and Jo (who cleverly kneels down to scream into their mic after it fell off of its stand) scream the chorus of the song. One line, repeated countless times over and over: “I’ve been rebuilt.” Repeated so many times that in the middle it feels beaten down and tired, but by the end, a cathartic moment has happened, and you’ve been rebuilt. An emotional performance ending in this emotional and uplifting line that hung in the air and left everyone in attendance feeling a little warmer inside.
Photos by Darby Ottoson